There is a lot of choice when it comes to suitable exotic animals for children to keep as pets, however, some are a better choice than others so it's important for both parents and the children to do their research before committing to one. The other thing to consider is that everyone in the family needs to be involved in the choice and also be willing to look after the new pet because it would be unfair to leave this type of responsibility to one child on their own.
Below is a list of great choices of exotic pets the whole family will enjoy having around and looking after:
Although you may not think of a rabbit as being an exotic pet, many vets still think of them as such because of their extremely delicate dispositions and the fact it is quite difficult treating them. With this said, for decades, the humble little bunny has been one of the most popular and loved pets on the planet. They have bought a lot of joy into the lives of many children and adults too.
There are literally hundreds of breeds to choose from with some being a lot more "exotic" than others. From tiny bundles of fluff to larger than life characters, a rabbit has a lot to boast about when it comes to personality. The other thing to bear in mind is that a rabbit tends to live a lot longer than a hamster which means they will be part of the family for a long time to come!
Guinea pigs have to be one of the most adorable family pets ever. They are generally good natured and don't bite with the bonus being they are not as fragile as hamsters are. The other great thing about cavies is they are relatively low maintenance although this doesn't mean they can be left on their own for long periods of time because they are by nature very social creatures.
Cavies live for anything from 5 to 6 years and will therefore become a valued member of the family. They also adore interacting with people and do enjoy the company of another guinea pig which is why some people like to get two pets rather than one.
Rats are very underrated as pets. They are extremely clever and each of them boasts their very own and unique personalities. They are so smart that it never takes them long to figure out a puzzle or how to get into a toy so they can munch on a favourite treat or two.
These lovely rodents are much hardier than say a hamster and they boast much longer lifespans too. If well handled from an early age, rats rarely feel the need to bite because they feel safe and secure which makes them great pets to have around and contrary to belief, they are amazing clean too.
Although they boast a formidable name, the Bearded Dragon is, in fact, a very gentle creature and they are just the right size for little hands to hold and handle. Rarely do they bite and one thing they do enjoy is sitting on your shoulder which is always very amusing. They don't smell and are extremely quiet which means they are real pleasure to have around.
Bearded Dragons live for a very long time, anything up to 20 years, so if you do decide to get one, you need to be prepared to look after them well after the children have grown up and left home. This means as a parent, you need to be prepared to look after your pet should the kids not want to take them with them.
Leopard Geckos are lovely little lizards which are easy to take care of. They don't need massive tanks to live in and they are extremely docile by nature which makes them the perfect choice for kids to handle and have around. If well handled from a very young age, these delightful lizards don't mind being picked up and very rarely feel the need to bite.
The other great thing about Leopard Geckos is they don't need to be kept in a specialist environment and you don't need to set up a UVB light. They are nocturnal and very easy maintenance because they don't need to be fed fresh vegetables and fruit on a daily basis. There is very little or no smell to have to deal with either and because they are so quiet, you won't have to put up with squeaky wheels going round at night as you would if you kept a hamster.
If you are thinking about getting a pet for the children, it's important for the whole family to agree on what type to get. The other thing to bear in mind is that taking care of the pet has to be a family affair because it would be unfair to leave this type or responsibility completely up to the kids.